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Tampa Bay area YMCAs closed, will be used to support healthcare workers' children

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Posted at 5:55 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 07:33:52-04

TAMPA, Fla. — All YMCA locations in the Tampa Bay area are closed as of Tuesday, March 17 to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

President and CEO Matt Mitchell said in a letter the locations are transitioning into support centers for children of healthcare and emergency response employees. Mitchell said they hope to start the transition on March 23.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF CORONAVIRUS

"During this temporary closure, we are looking to transition our Ys to support the children of healthcare and emergency response professionals, as well as other caregivers, who play an essential role in our community’s capacity to treat and contain this virus," Mitchell said. "We look to transition more than 20 Y locations throughout Tampa Bay to meet this critical need starting Monday, March 23. We will provide more information on the Y’s full-day school-age relief care in the coming days."

The locations will be closed until at least Sunday, March 29.

RELATED: Florida students won't return to public schools until April 15, K-12 state testing canceled: Gov. DeSantis

Spring break camp events, also known as "Kids' Day out" will continue as planned through March 20.

The closure affects:

  • All Y programming including sports, aquatics and special events in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties
  • Before and after school programs

RELATED: Local school districts announce plans to feed students during closure

The Y released new virtual tools during the closure to help people stay active and healthy at home.

Dear Y Family,

The safety and well-being of our staff, members and volunteers is always the Y’s top priority. At the Y, everything we do is guided by our cause to strengthen communities, and we have an obligation to do all we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The CDC and health officials both nationally and locally have recommended social distancing and avoiding large groups as an important line of defense in slowing the spread of COVID-19. To do our part, we are implementing additional proactive measures. All Tampa Bay area YMCA locations will close effective Tuesday, March 17 at 9pm through Sunday, March 29. At which time, we will reevaluate whether we should resume operations based on current information and guidance from our local health department and government leaders.

This closure affects all Y programming including all sports, aquatics and special events in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. We will still offer Spring Break camp (Kids’ Day Out) as planned for the rest of this week.

During this temporary closure, we are looking to transition our Ys to support the children of healthcare and emergency response professionals, as well as other caregivers, who play an essential role in our community’s capacity to treat and contain this virus. We look to transition more than 20 Y locations throughout Tampa Bay to meet this critical need starting Monday, March 23. We will provide more information on the Y’s full-day school-age relief care in the coming days.

We also remain committed to helping keep Tampa Bay healthy and strong in spirit, mind and body. The Y is still here to help you stay active, healthy and connected in your own home, and on your own time. At no additional charge to you as a Y member we invite you to utilize new virtual tools to stay healthy and connected.

We understand the important role that the YMCA plays in your family’s overall well-being. As a nonprofit, charitable organization, we appreciate your loyalty to the Y and thank you for your patience and understanding during these uncertain times.

We invite you to check our website often for updates, allow notifications from our mobile app and follow us on Facebook. We’ll also continue to send updates through email. For additional information and FAQs on COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website.

Thank you for your continued support!

— Matt Mitchell, President & CEO

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